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Oh, exactly what a night.
Our first hockey season didn’t end as we hoped, however the last game revealed all the battle and enthusiasm that the Vegas Golden Knights are commemorated for around the world. But, then again, who in Las Vegas attempted to even imagine such things when the Knights took to the ice in their regular-season house opener last Oct. 10?
It took some dazzling minds to understand that Las Vegas could be a hockey town. And it took thousands of hockey-hungry fans to show their support through season ticket purchases well in advance of the very first puck drop. But hockey took place.
And with the tragedy of Oct. 1 casting a pall over our city, how could we even think of anything as unimportant as the opening night of a brand new hockey experience? But, it couldn’t have actually come at a much better time.
Who would have believed it would be the Vegas Golden Knights? But, they were here, they were ours and we, a million fans in Las Vegas and millions worldwide, were theirs. It was an immediate love affair that was somewhat reminiscent of the method Las Vegas grew to love the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels back then when a championship game was simply a dream.
You could not go anywhere in this country without somebody speaking about the Rebels. Similarly, I could not go anywhere this previous year– especially to locations that understood hockey– without individuals discussing the Golden Knights. When I was in Washington, D.C., recently the hotel was flying two flags at the front door. One was for the Capitals and the other– hanging with equal prominence– was for the Golden Knights.
When the game was over and the fate of the Stanley Cup was sealed, what impressed me most is that the fans didn’t submit out. They remained at their seats in T-Mobile Arena. Perhaps it was due to the fact that they had actually never ever seen a Stanley Cup presentation or perhaps they simply wanted to show their immense thankfulness for the group that had actually captured our hearts and imagination. It was probably both– and more.
Exactly what it showed to the world, however, was a city that has actually become its own as a location where expert sports are welcome, appreciated and supported. When the Golden Knights stayed on the ice to acknowledge the fans in presence, to thank them for thinking that miracles truly can take place, they sealed the deal.
It took Washington 44 years to finally win a Stanley Cup, so we shouldn’t begrudge them their well-earned success. Neither can we dismiss the astounding perform at the Cup that the Golden Knights made in simply their very first season. It was truly spectacular.
Expense Foley, together with the Maloof family, led the effort to bring major-league hockey to Las Vegas, and they were signed up with by the countless fans who bought season tickets in advance of a season they could never ever have actually imagined. They found a home at T-Mobile and set records that may never ever be broken. And, along the method, they offered all of us a need to come together to root for something good. Something fun. Something that could assist turn disaster into something– else.
Las Vegas has its own hockey group. And, one day quickly, it will have its personal place on the Stanley Cup.
Thanks, Golden Knights, for the memories.
Brian Greenspun is editor, publisher and owner of the Sun.